As the title suggests, the bill, if passed, will require the Federal Trade Commission to enact rules to “prohibit, as an unfair and deceptive act or practice, any person from advertising with the intent to deceptively create the impression that” either said person provides abortion services when they don’t or doesn’t provides abortion services when they do.
Overall, I believe that this is an ethically acceptable bill. I find it morally wrong for anybody, pro-life or pro-choice, to lie, even if it is done to provide certain services or to keep people away from certain services. A good end does not justify an evil means.
That being said, I do have some issues with it. For one, I could see the Federal Trade Commission possibly enacting laws forcing Crisis Pregnancy Centers to display signs saying that they don’t do abortions, like what was done in
. Of course, it can be shown, as other pro-lifers have already done, that just because CPCs advertise that they provide certain services to pregnant women does not mean that they are advertising that they do abortions. If CPCs were to explicitly say that they provide abortions then that would be one thing. But the CPCs’ promotion of the fact that they provide heath care to women in crisis pregnancies does not mean that they are saying that they do abortions. Hopefully the Federal Trade Commission will realize this and not support such an unconstitutional and outright wrong degradation of the work of CPCs. New York
Another issue that I have with it is the constitutionality of the bill. Again, I agree that it is immoral for people to explicitly lie, even on the issue of abortion. But can the government, on constitutional grounds, force agencies to not lie in their advertisements? I question those who say yes. It may end up violating the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech.
Now there are certainly limits to even the Freedom of Speech (you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre when there is no fire). However, it would seem that if the lie is not done in order to instill a riot or put lives in danger then it would be constitutionally acceptable. So if people pro the bill can show that such advertisements do instill a riot, put lives in danger, or commit some other action that would make it constitutionally acceptable to make the bill into law then go for it. But the burden of proof lies on them to show how this is done.
So what do you all think? Should this bill be passed? Why or why not?